How to prevent AV mistakes
We have all seen the dreaded Audio Visual blunder – from local seminars to nationally televised presidential debates. They are impossible to hide and hard to gracefully recover from. This is the one element in any room or event space that is in full view of every one of your guests. You may be able to have a few undercooked meals, or a dirty carpet stain go unnoticed by the majority of your guests and still have a seamless event – however this isn’t the case with an “in your face” AV set. Even a small mistake is immediately noticeable, and a large one could be the talking point of the entire event.
Luckily, professional Audio Visual crews are very familiar with what can and does go wrong during events, and they take the necessary measures to ensure adequate coverage and preparation to minimize any potential mistakes. We are all human, so in some cases mistakes are inevitable – what’s more important is how you react to and how you correct these mistakes. Professional Audio Visual technicians go to great lengths to ensure the set is as stable as possible (figuratively speaking). Experienced techs also integrate with each other much better, combining their efforts for a more congruent outcome.
Some event planners may not have the budget available to hire a professional AV crew, so lets take a look at what an AV team would do to ensure a seamless production. You can take these same steps to increase your success rate tremendously.
1. Hire a professional and competent Audio Visual Team / Technician
As mentioned previously, hiring an experienced and competent technician to help run your event is absolutely the number one step you can take in ensuring a more seamless event. When contracting with a venue or with an AV company, it’s quite commonplace to request an experienced tech as opposed to a “green” one. The AV crew will take no offense to this – trust me. It’s common knowledge among AV personnel that experience is the number one factor in predicting a technician’s competence. In general, an experienced technician has probably had a fair share of blunders he has been involved in over his career, ensuring that each instance type can be prevented in the future. To put it simply, some mistakes are so improbable and unexpected that you actually have to experience it for yourself to even realize that it’s a possibility, let alone know what steps to take in order to prevent it in the future.
2. Visit the venue prior to your event – site visit
Seeing the event space in person is absolutely paramount the planning process, and as we all know, a little planning goes a LONG way. Standing in the room and getting a physical sense of the dimensions, colors, natural lighting, etc. is irreplaceable. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, seeing the room in person is worth more than a thousand pictures.
A site visit isn’t always feasible (such as when your venue is on the other side of country), but it is always recommended. Here at Aventus Audio Visual, we always make sure that we visit the venue during the sales and contracting process. Even better if we are able to visit the room with the client and possibly the hotel sales/catering manager at the same time. This just ensures that everyone is on the same page and that there isn’t any miscommunication about the expectations. An experienced Audio Visual sales representative will take into consideration minute details, such as entry and exit point, case storage, load in/out pathways, cable routing, presenter flow, etc.
3. Have back-up/replacement gear available.
Sometimes electronic equipment experiences malfunctions, and generally speaking, it’s usually faster to replace said piece of gear with an identical one than to try and troubleshoot and fix it in the middle of a presentation. Having extra equipment on hand is a great way to stay prepared and help increase your chances of a smooth presentation.
For example, imagine you are in the middle of a presentation and suddenly the presenter’s laptop shuts off and shows a projector splash page on the projection display. You now have 2 options on how to go about fixing this.
- Option 1: You aren’t sure what the problem is, but it could be about 15 different things: laptop power supply failure, hard drive failure, laptop video cable failure, presenter disconnected the laptop from the display, presentation program crashed, corrupt presentation file, and the list goes on. It will take some time, effort, and experimentation to narrow down the problem before you can even attempt to fix it. All the while, the presenter is left stranded having to stall while the problem is being rectified. Time to get the presentation back up and running: 10 minutes
- Option 2: You aren’t sure what the problem is with the laptop, but it doesn’t really matter. As soon as you see a problem with the laptop, you grab your back up laptop with the presentation already loaded (you should always have a back up laptop) and swap the 2 laptops. The presentation is back up and running in seconds, and you now have unlimited time to try and figure out why the laptop was malfunctioning. The show goes on with minimal interruption.
This line of reasoning can be applied to just about any piece of AV gear, be it a microphone, a stage light, or a mixing console. Swapping a piece of gear with another trusted counterpart is generally much faster than having to figure out why it’s not working in the first place.
Here at Aventus, we always carry back up equipment with us on the road and at home, to be ready at a moment’s notice just in case. Equipment malfunctions are rare, but when they do happen, you will be glad to have hired a professional and experienced Audio Visual team who can rectify the issue with minimal time and intrusion.
What are you waiting for? Just give us a shout and see how we can help transform your meeting or special event into something truly extraordinary.
Our aim is to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours, but usually much faster. For immediate assistance, please feel free to call (239) 319-9191